When I was younger, Brave New World was one of my favorite books. It’s about a dystopia where people are brainwashed- seriously they are “decanted” in factories and from birth on they are subliminally, covertly and overtly programmed into being a cog into the vast capitalist machine.
Our world is very close to that. Very close. The only difference between us and the factory folk is our brainwashing is less organized, because we are not born into factories and most of it occurs through mass media, instead of being forced upon us in a situation we can’t escape.
But, as horribly dystopian as Brave New World was, that world actually seems kinder and gentler than our real Brave New World, because at least in that world, capitalism did have a plan. In ours it does not.
I keep struggling to make sense of this world, we currently live in, because it just doesn’t make sense! We spend trillions on wars — to never have peace. We spend trillions on schools — and yet no one ever learns anything that makes the world a better place. We spend trillions researching cancer — there’s never a cure. In fact, it seems all the money spent just makes the world worst! What is the point of it?
You point out UBI is a disaster because it takes away purpose. I would argue, very few jobs provide people with a purpose. Most people hate their jobs. They talk about how stupid they are, and how stupid and petty their boss is, and they spend hours doing shit that is pointless and stupid. Most people are frustrated inside systems where they can point to 1001 inefficiencies, but are powerless to correct them because of corruption, bosses, systematic problems etc.
Teachers, for example, really want to teach but they have idiotic state devised curriculums that are all about programming these kids. The teachers hate doing it, and the kids hate being exposed to it. If a teacher should some how figure out how to be exceptional and get around this, she might be okay, but she sure as shit wont be rewarded. And…that’s a good job.
There are super, super sucky jobs, like inspecting poultry as it runs down a conveyer belt. Point out that there is too much rotten and defective chicken getting into the food chain, even though you are totally doing your job, you will be targeted and harassed for doing it well. Because Perdue wants you to pass all the damn chicken, even the rotten ones, into the food chain. It’s good for profits! I worked on a case like that. A federal food inspector was being harassed ungodly for doing the right thing, trying to keep rotten meat out of the distribution. I don’t know if she ultimately won her case.
Most jobs SUCK.
They do not provide purpose, but they eat up your time and life, often sucking away at your very soul, but hey, it’s okay because they allow you to provide basics: food, shelter, etc.
Most people find purpose outside of their jobs. So I can’t sign off on UBI being a disaster because of the lack of purpose thing.
But, everything else you and Cait mentioned seems pretty on point to me.
UBI Is a way to gain complete and total control over people, because no way it comes without all sorts of strings attached. You might be required, for example, to engage on Facebook for so many hours a day, to listen to some propaganda, to allow yourself to be brainwashed. There are so very many ways this can go very, very badly, I can’t even begin to consider them all. But the scenarios you throw out seem quite likely.
Here’s what’s behind it all — in order to even be elite — elite need people. They need people to worship them and buy whatever they are selling. But, they don’t need nearly as many people as are on the globe today. They need maybe 1% of the current world population. And that population needs to be completely brainwashed, Brave New World style. That’s what I think UBI is really all about. Everyone is not going to get it, but the ones that do, will have to give up their free will, submit to some Brave New World style brainwashing.
Alduous Huxley, who wrote Brave New World, was part of Great Britain’s elite. I thought he just had an extraordinary imagination, to come up with those ideas of people being born in factories. But as it turns out he had a cousin, really big at some Eugenics foundation. Maybe the whole factory people thing, was a real proposal. Maybe the elites have actually been planning this sort of thing all along.
Remember what I said about Google, and Facebook? We are the product, not the consumers or beneficiaries. UBI is basically a way for elites to pay for the people they want in their world to do their bidding. But that’s already happening anyway through what we call “jobs.” It’s really not much different, if you think about it.
As for Venezuela, I know. That’s an entire country full of people being Pavlovian dogged into accepting the status quo, with all the world watching so they can be trained too. Take the job you’re given, take the role you’re given. Be happy with it, or else! We will shut you out of the machine and make you miserable.
The more I think about it, the more I understand that the only way out, is in. None of us can go out into the madness and do anything worth doing. But we can go inside. We can disconnect from the madness. We can see through it. We can try to rise above and move beyond it.